Before I emote all about the mother/daughter connection, let me be clear that having a son ( especially my sweet boy) is also a gift- just a different kind of gift that is a story for another day.
As a daughter who was always very close to her own beloved mom until the day she died ( and even now because we still talk all the time even though she is not within the earthly realm), I was overwhelmed with excitement when I found out that my first child would be a girl.
O and I have had a deep empathic connection from the moment she came sliding out of me after only a few hours of horrific labor without waiting for the doctor and without me even pushing her out. I knew then that she would be a human who does things on her own ( impatient) time and in her own unique way. Her sense of self was established with her first breath of life and she has been going strong in this manner for the last 18 plus years. She is certainly an original!
I remember my mom telling me, during one of O’s legendary temper tantrums, that raising a strong-willed child was hard but that it would ultimately serve her well as an adult- shout out to my Mom for being Right!
Her compassion for others, her drive for working her ass off ( we are working on her perfectionism disease), her activism, her ability to create nurturing friendships, her gift of a beautiful voice and love for music, her willingness to be herself – a leader and not a follower, her quirky authenticity and self-expression- these are all my favorite gifts and I am privileged to be her mom.
I learned ( because I am kind of a smart person and know how to trust my gut) that O was a kid who needed to have autonomy and agency and do things on her own terms. Her ability to clearly ask for what she needs from me began in middle school. She would preface conversations with: I just need to vent and I don’t want you to say anything right now – just let me get it all out OR I need your help and I want advice ( and sometimes even- Just Tell Me What to Do). And we all know that those hellacious middle and high school years (mean girls are REAL – do NOT get me started) provide multiple opportunities for reasons to vent…I was curious if any of this would change once she left the nest for college- I can honestly say it has definitely not changed ( thanks to FaceTime and cellphones) and sometimes I am amazed at how much she chooses to share with me- I consider it a gift, especially when we laugh about our boundaries- or lack of them with some things…
As hard as I grieved when O moved away, I’m incredibly thankful ( and sometimes still sad- living in a house with all boys and no other feminine energy…) that our relationship continues to transform in such beautiful ways. I know my mom is with us always – every time we go shopping, O will say something like, “ This would be even better if GeGe was with us.” I choose to use our shopping sprees as a way to carry on the grandmother/mother/daughter bond which is just another gift- even if we don’t buy a single thing.
Throughout the years, we have established a very grounded foundation of not only wholehearted love and acceptance but mutual respect for both our strong similarities AND our differences. Our mental telepathy is powerful and sometimes no words need to be exchanged for us to get what the other is thinking/feeling. Just like me and my mom which makes me feel my mom’s energy even more.
So on this 4th day of Hanukkah and Christmas, as I was thinking about all the fortune in my life, what struck me most today was my relationship with this dearest of humans I have had the pleasure ( AND sometimes the pain) to raise.